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Methamphetamine in Missouri is 'Breaking' VERY 'Bad'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 27th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The TV series "Breaking Bad" depicts the most unwholesome world of methamphetamine abuse. With its homemade laboratories and under-the-sink ingredients, methamphetamine, or "meth" or "crank" is decidedly not the Breakfast of Champions. Even worse is the shame felt by the southern state of Missouri, which has led the nation in numbers of meth-related incidents consistently, with the exception of 2003. 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It's not all bad news. America's fascination with "Breaking Bad" has presided over a time when meth use in the U.S. is on the decline. The Drug Enforcement Administration announced that there had been 12,694 meth lab incidents in 2012, representing a drop-off from the 13,390 incidents in 2011 and an even bigger decrease from the 15,196 incidents from 2010.

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In spite of this, a number of U.S. states continue to make up the core for reported methamphetamine-related incidents. Missouri leads the pack. In the fiscal year 2012, Missouri's drug task forces made 9,000 arrests in 21,000 cases related to methamphetamine.

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There are even larger issues at stake. With federal funding for Missouri's regional drug task force hitting an all-time low this year, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon set aside $3 million in next year's budget. There remains traces of uncertainty about how much funding will be available to help the state after 2014.

Missouri's meth problem has continued to roil. The influx of meth into the state started to gain traction in the mid-90s, with more meth product coming from the West Coast. The issue since that time has stayed in rural parts of Missouri that are close enough to metropolitan areas such as St. Louis and Kansas City. The rise in meth-related crimes has also bled over to neighboring states like Kentucky and Tennessee.

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"We've been at the forefront of the battle against meth since that time," Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Tim Hull said. "Some people feel Missouri might have a very bad meth problem, but we look at it as us being very aggressive in looking for and seizing these labs."

While "Breaking Bad" rinds to a conclusion, it's vital to understand how far the U.S. has come in cutting down meth-related cases . and how far some states need to go.

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"It continues to be an ongoing problem that we deal with in Missouri on a daily and yearly basis," Hull says, "and it's something we'll continue to do as long as it's out there."

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